Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose

Setting: Baltimore
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Berkley
Author: Karen Rose
Release Date: August 29, 2017

Taylor Dawson grew up believing her birth father was an abusive, dangerous man. After her mother confesses that she lied for all of those years, Taylor isn't sure what to think. She accepts an internship at a therapeutic horse farm in order to learn more about her birth father.

Her internship involves working with children affected by violence. Using horses, it's the goal of the ranch to help the children start to overcome their fears and learn to live again. Two of the girls she's working with saw their mother's badly beaten body. The older girl, Jasmine, refuses to talk to anyone, but she's warming up to Taylor. Taylor may be the only way investigators can get Jasmine to reveal all she knows.

Clay Maynard has been searching for his daughter for two decades. Now that he's found her, he's not thrilled that she's embroiled in a murder case. He wants nothing more than to keep her safe.

Meanwhile, Taylor finds herself falling for her boss's son, Ford. Ford understands Taylor in ways she never would have imagined. His own damaged past helps him know what it's like to be scared. Ford's just as determined as Clay to keep Taylor safe.

Strengths and Weaknesses

So many characters muddle this story. I know it's part of a series. I also know that not having read the other books was my downfall. I had such a hard time keeping up with the different characters that the suspense got overshadowed. I needed to have read all the books in the series I think. Monster in the Closet does not work as a stand-alone novel.

Monster in the Closet had very suspenseful moments. The plot moves steadily, and even knowing the killer's identity didn't dissuade me from seeing the girls get justice. I wanted to see the killer get taken down!

While Clay and Taylor reuniting seemed to be the main part of the plot given the book blurb, I didn't really feel it was. The main story is the murder of the two girls' mom. That is the driving force in this book. The other characters just seemed to get in the way of things to me.

RTR's Bottom Line

Have you read the other books in The Baltimore Series? If so, you'll probably love catching up with the array of characters from this series. I hadn't, and I felt so totally lost trying to keep up with the who's who aspect. For that reason, I wish I'd held off and read Monster in the Closet after reading the series in order.


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